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Gillian Harrison, Hideyuki Kano, L. Dade Lunsford, John C. Flickinger, and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECT

The reported tumor control rates for meningiomas after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are high; however, early imaging assessment of tumor volumes may not accurately predict the eventual tumor response. The objective in this study was to quantitatively evaluate the volumetric responses of meningiomas after SRS and to determine whether early volume responses are predictive of longer-term tumor control.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of 252 patients (median age 56 years, range 14–87 years) who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery between 2002 and 2010. All patients had evaluable pre- and postoperative T1-weighted contrast-enhanced MRIs. The median baseline tumor volume was 3.5 cm3 (range 0.2–33.8 cm3) and the median follow-up was 19.5 months (range 0.1–104.6 months). Follow-up tumor volumes were compared with baseline volumes. Tumor volume percent change and the tumor volume rate of change were compared at 3-month intervals. Eventual tumor responses were classified as progressed for > 15% volume change, regressed for ≤ 15% change, and stable for ± 15% of baseline volume at time of last follow-up. Volumetric data were compared with the final tumor status by using univariable and multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS

Tumor volume regression (median decrease of −40.2%) was demonstrated in 168 (67%) patients, tumor stabilization (median change of −2.7%) in 67 (26%) patients, and delayed tumor progression (median increase of 104%) in 17 (7%) patients (p < 0.001). Tumors that eventually regressed had an average volume reduction of −18.2% at 3 months. Tumors that eventually progressed all demonstrated volume increase by 6 months. Transient progression was observed in 15 tumors before eventual decrease, and transient regression was noted in 6 tumors before eventual volume increase.

CONCLUSIONS

The volume response of meningiomas after SRS is dynamic, and early imaging estimations of the tumor volume may not correlate with the final tumor response. However, tumors that ultimately regressed tended to respond in the first 3 months, whereas tumors that ultimately progressed showed progression within 6 months.

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Douglas Kondziolka, Seyed H. Mousavi, Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Management recommendations for patients with smaller-volume or newly diagnosed vestibular schwannomas (< 4 cm3) need to be based on an understanding of the anticipated natural history of the tumor and the side effects it produces. The natural history can then be compared with the risks and benefits of therapeutic intervention using a minimally invasive strategy such as stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Methods

The authors reviewed the emerging literature stemming from recent recommendations to “wait and scan” (observation) and compared this strategy with published outcomes after early intervention using SRS or results from matched cohort studies of resection and SRS.

Results

Various retrospective studies indicate that vestibular schwannomas grow at a rate of 0–3.9 mm per year and double in volume between 1.65 and 4.4 years. Stereotactic radiosurgery arrests growth in up to 98% of patients when studied at intervals of 10–15 years. Most patients who select “wait and scan” note gradually decreasing hearing function leading to the loss of useful hearing by 5 years. In contrast, current studies indicate that 3–5 years after Gamma Knife surgery, 61%–80% of patients maintain useful hearing (speech discrimination score > 50%, pure tone average < 50).

Conclusions

Based on published data on both volume and hearing preservation for both strategies, the authors devised a management recommendation for patients with small vestibular schwannomas. When resection is not chosen by the patient, the authors believe that early SRS intervention, in contrast to observation, results in long-term tumor control and improved rates of hearing preservation.

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Hideyuki Kano, Douglas Kondziolka, Aftab Khan, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Many patients with acoustic neuromas (ANs) have hearing function at diagnosis and desire to maintain it. To date, radiosurgical techniques have been focused on conformal irradiation of the tumor mass, with less attention to inner ear structures for which there was scant radiobiological information. The authors of this study evaluated tumor control and hearing preservation as they relate to tumor volume, imaging characteristics, and nerve and cochlear radiation dose following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using the Gamma Knife.

Methods

Seventy-seven patients with ANs had serviceable hearing (Gardner-Robertson [GR] Class I or II) and underwent SRS between 2004 and 2007. This interval reflected more recent measurements of inner ear dosimetry during the authors' 21-year experience. The median patient age was 52 years (range 22–82 years). No patient had undergone any prior treatment for the ANs. The median tumor volume was 0.75 cm3 (range 0.07–7.7 cm3), and the median radiation dose to the tumor margin was 12.5 Gy (range 12–13 Gy). At diagnosis, a greater distance from the lateral tumor to the end of the internal auditory canal correlated with better hearing function.

Results

At a median of 20 months after SRS, no patient required any other additional treatment. Serviceable hearing was preserved in 71% of all patients and in 89% (46 patients) of those with GR Class I hearing. Significant prognostic factors for maintaining the same GR class included (all pre-SRS) GR Class I hearing, a speech discrimination score (SDS) ≥ 80%, a pure tone average (PTA) < 20 dB, and a patient age < 60 years. Significant prognostic factors for serviceable hearing preservation were (all pre-SRS) GR Class I hearing, an SDS ≥ 80%, a PTA < 20 dB, a patient age < 60 years, an intracanalicular tumor location, and a tumor volume < 0.75 cm3. Patients who received a radiation dose of < 4.2 Gy to the central cochlea had significantly better hearing preservation of the same GR class. Twelve of 12 patients < 60 years of age who had received a cochlear dose < 4.2 Gy retained serviceable hearing at 2 years post-SRS.

Conclusions

As currently practiced, SRS with the Gamma Knife preserves serviceable hearing in the majority of patients. Tumor volume and anatomy relate to the hearing level before radiosurgery and influence technique. A low radiosurgical dose to the cochlea enhances hearing preservation.

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Seong-Hyun Park, Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

To assess the long-term outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for cerebellopontine angle (CPA) meningiomas, the authors retrospectively reviewed data from a 20-year experience. They evaluated progression-free survival as well as improvement, stabilization, or deterioration in clinical symptoms.

Methods

Seventy-four patients with CPA meningiomas underwent SRS involving various Gamma Knife technologies between 1990 and 2010. The most common presenting symptoms were dizziness or disequilibrium, hearing loss, facial sensory dysfunction, and headache. The median tumor volume was 3.0 cm3 (range 0.3–17.1 cm3), and the median radiation dose to the tumor margin was 13 Gy (range 11–16 Gy). The median follow-up period was 40 months (range 4–147 months).

Results

At last imaging follow-up, the tumor volume had decreased in 46 patients (62%), remained stable in 26 patients (35%), and increased in 2 patients (3%). The progression-free survival after SRS was 98% at 1 year, 98% at 3 years, and 95% at 5 years. At the last clinical follow-up, 23 patients (31%) showed neurological improvement, 43 patients (58%) showed no change in symptoms or signs, and 8 patients (11%) had worsening symptoms or signs. The neurological improvement rate after SRS was 16% at 1 year, 31% at 3 years, and 40% at 5 years. The post-SRS deterioration rate was 5% at 1 year, 10% at 3 years, and 16% at 5 years. A multivariate analysis demonstrated that trigeminal neuralgia was the symptom most likely to worsen after SRS (HR 0.08, 95% CI 0.02–0.31; p = 0.001). Asymptomatic peritumoral edema occurred in 4 patients (5%) after SRS, and symptomatic adverse radiation effects developed in 7 patients (9%).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery for CPA meningiomas provided a high tumor control rate and relatively low risk of ARE. Tumor compression of the trigeminal nerve by a CPA meningioma resulted in an increased rate of facial pain worsening in this patient experience.

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Daniel Tonetti, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory Bowden, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The presentation for patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is often intracranial hemorrhage; for women, this frequently occurs during the prime childbearing years. Although previous studies have addressed the risk for AVM hemorrhage during pregnancy, such studies have not assessed the risk for hemorrhage among women who become pregnant during the latency interval between stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and documented obliteration of the lesion. The authors sought to evaluate the risk for hemorrhage in patients who become pregnant during the latency interval after SRS.

Methods

This single-institution retrospective analysis reviewed the authors' experience with Gamma Knife SRS during 1987–2012. During this time, 253 women of childbearing age (median age 30 years, range 15–40 years) underwent SRS for intracranial AVM. The median target volume was 3.9 cm3 (range 0.1–27.1 cm3), and the median marginal dose was 20 Gy (range 14–38 Gy). For all patients, the date of AVM obliteration was recorded and the latency interval was calculated. Information about subsequent pregnancies and/or bleeding events during the latency interval was retrieved from the medical records and supplemented by telephone contact.

Results

AVM obliteration was confirmed by MRI or angiography at a median follow-up time of 39.3 months (range 10–174 months). There were 828.7 patient-years of follow-up within the latency interval between SRS and the date of confirmed AVM obliteration. Among nonpregnant women, 20 hemorrhages occurred before AVM obliteration, yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 2.5% for nonpregnant women during the latency interval. Among women who became pregnant during the latency interval, 2 hemorrhages occurred over the course of 18 pregnancies, yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 11.1% for women who become pregnant during the latency interval. For the 2 pregnant patients who experienced hemorrhage, the bleeding occurred during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Conclusions

The authors present the first series of data for women with intracranial AVMs who became pregnant during the latency interval after SRS. Hemorrhage during the latency interval occurred at an annual rate of 2.5% for nonpregnant women and 11.1% for pregnant women. The data suggest that pregnancy might be a risk factor for AVM hemorrhage during the interval between SRS and AVM obliteration. However, this suggestion is not statistically significant because only 18 patients in the study population became pregnant during the latency interval. To mitigate any increased risk for hemorrhage, patients should consider deferring pregnancy until treatment conclusion and AVM obliteration.

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Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, Douglas Kondziolka, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

To evaluate outcome predictors after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with trigeminal schwannomas, the authors compared tumor control, functional preservation, and complications with tumor grade, tumor volume, patient age, and tumor imaging characteristics.

Methods

The records of 33 consecutive patients with trigeminal schwannoma treated via Gamma Knife surgery were retrospectively reviewed. The median patient age was 49.5 years (range 15.1–82.5 years). Eleven patients had undergone prior tumor resection. Two patients had neurofibromatosis Type 2. Lesions were classified as root type (6 tumors), ganglion type (17 tumors), and dumbbell type (10 tumors) based on their location. The median radiosurgery target volume was 4.2 cm3 (range 0.5–18.0 cm3), and the median dose to the tumor margin was 15.0 Gy (range 12–20 Gy).

Results

At an average of 6 years (range 7.2–147.9 months), the rate of progression-free survival (PFS) at 1, 5, and 10 years after SRS was 97.0, 82.0, and 82.0%, respectively. Factors associated with improved PFS included female sex, smaller tumor volume, and a root or ganglion tumor type. Neurological symptoms or signs improved in 11 (33.3%) of 33 patients and were unchanged in 19 (57.6%). Three patients (9.1%) had symptomatic disease progression. Patients who had not undergone a prior tumor resection were significantly more likely to show improvement in neurological symptoms or signs.

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective and minimally invasive management option in patients with residual or newly diagnosed trigeminal schwannomas. Predictors of a better treatment response included female sex, smaller tumor volume, root or ganglion tumor type, and the application of SRS as the primary treatment.

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Ajay Niranjan, Ahmed Kashkoush, Hideyuki Kano, Edward A. Monaco III, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

Seizures are the second-most common presenting symptom in patients with lobar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, few studies have assessed the long-term effect of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on seizure control. The authors of this study assess the outcome of SRS for these patients to identify prognostic factors associated with seizure control.

METHODS

Patients with AVM who presented with a history of seizure and underwent SRS at the authors’ institution between 1987 and 2012 were retrospectively assessed. The total cohort included 155 patients with a mean follow-up of 86 months (range 6–295 months). Primary outcomes assessed were seizure frequency, antiepileptic drug regimen, and seizure freedom for 6 months prior to last follow-up.

RESULTS

Seizure-free status was achieved in 108 patients (70%), with an additional 23 patients (15%) reporting improved seizure frequency as compared to their pre-SRS status. The median time to seizure-free status was estimated to be 12 months (95% CI 0–27 months) as evaluated via Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. The mean seizure frequency prior to SRS was 14.2 (95% CI 5.4–23.1) episodes per year. Although not all patients tried, the proportion of patients successfully weaned off all antiepileptic drugs was 18% (28/155 patients). On multivariate logistic regression, focal impaired awareness seizure type (also known as complex partial seizures) and superficial venous drainage were significantly associated with a decreased odds ratio for seizure-free status at last follow-up (OR 0.37 [95% CI 0.15–0.92] for focal impaired awareness seizures; OR 0.36 [95% CI 0.16–0.81] for superficial venous drainage). The effects of superficial venous drainage on seizure outcome were nonsignificant when excluding patients with < 2 years of follow-up. AVM obliteration did not correlate with long-term seizure freedom (p = 0.202, chi-square test).

CONCLUSIONS

This study suggests that SRS improves long-term seizure control and increases the likelihood of being medication free, independently of AVM obliteration. Patients with focal impaired awareness seizures were less likely to obtain long-term seizure relief.

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Stephen Johnson, Hideyuki Kano, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

Optimizing outcomes in the management of patients with vestibular schwannomas (VSs) requires consideration of the patient’s goals. Earlier recognition of VS by imaging has led to an evolution in management. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has emerged as a frequently used strategy designed to reduce management risks, obtain long-term tumor control, and preserve current neurological function. The authors analyzed features that impact hearing preservation rates in patients with serviceable hearing prior to SRS.

METHODS

The study included 307 patients who had serviceable hearing (Gardner-Robertson hearing scale [GR] grade 1 or 2, speech discrimination score ≥ 50%, pure tone average ≤ 50 dB) at the time of SRS. The authors evaluated parameters that included age, tumor volume, hearing status, disequilibrium, tinnitus, Koos class, sex, and tumor margin dose. The Pittsburgh Hearing Prediction Score (PHPS) was evaluated as a method to predict long-term hearing outcomes in these cases.

RESULTS

At a median of 7.6 years after SRS (range 1–23 years), tumor control was achieved in 95% of patients. The overall serviceable hearing preservation rate was 77.8% at 3 years, 68.8% at 5 years, and 51.8% at 10 years. The PHPS assigns a total of 5 points based on patient age (1 point if < 45 years, 2 points if 45–59 years, and 3 points if ≥ 60 years), tumor volume (0 points if < 1.2 cm3, 1 point if ≥ 1.2 cm3), and GR grade (0 points if grade 1 hearing, 1 point if grade 2 hearing) The serviceable hearing preservation rate was 92.3% at 10 years in patients whose score total was 1. In contrast, none of the patients whose PHPS was 5 maintained serviceable hearing at 10 years (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS resulted in a high rate of long-term tumor control and cranial nerve preservation. The PHPS helped to predict long-term hearing preservation rates in patients who underwent SRS when they still had serviceable hearing. The best long-term hearing preservation rates were found in younger patients with smaller tumor volumes.

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Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, Aftab Khan, John C. Flickinger, Douglas Kondziolka, Frank Lieberman, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

In this study the authors evaluated the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of progressive or newly diagnosed small-volume oligodendrogliomas. Tumor control, survival, and complications were assessed in patients with oligodendroglioma who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery as a primary or adjuvant procedure.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed 30 patients with oligodendroglioma (12 Grade II and 18 Grade III) who underwent SRS between 1992 and June 2006 at the University of Pittsburgh. The median patient age was 43.2 years (range 10.8–75.4 years). Twenty-four patients had previously undergone resection of the tumor, whereas tumors in 6 were diagnosed based on biopsy findings. The SRS was performed in 25 patients who had imaging-defined tumor progression despite prior fractionated radiation (22 patients) and/or chemotherapy (20 patients). The median target volume was 15.4 cm3 (range 0.07–48.7 cm3) and the median margin dose was 14.5 Gy (range 11–20 Gy).

Results

At an average of 39.2 months of follow-up (range 12–133 months), 17 patients were dead and 13 were living. The overall survival rates from diagnosis to 5 and 10 years were 90.9 and 68.2%, respectively, for Grade II and 52.1% at 5 years and 26.1% at 10 years for Grade III. Factors associated with an improved progression-free survival included lower tumor grade and smaller tumor volume. In 13 patients who had loss of heterozygosity testing, patients with 1p19q loss of heterozygosity had a significantly improved survival after diagnosis (p = 0.04).

Conclusions

The SRS modality is a minimally invasive additional option for patients with residual or recurrent oligodendrogliomas. It may also be considered as an alternative to initial resection in small-volume tumors located in the cortical brain region.

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Neal Luther, Douglas Kondziolka, Hideyuki Kano, Seyed H. Mousavi, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The authors sought to better define the clinical response of patients who underwent stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases located in the region of the motor cortex.

Methods

A retrospective analysis was performed in 2026 patients with brain metastasis who underwent SRS with the Gamma Knife between 2002 and 2012, and multiple factors that affect motor function before and after SRS were evaluated. Ninety-four patients with tumors ≥ 1.5 cm in diameter located in or adjacent to the motor strip were identified, including 2 patients with bilateral motor strip metastases.

Results

Motor function improved after SRS in 30 (31%) of 96 cases, remained stable in 48 (50%), and worsened over time in 18 (19%) instances. Forty-seven patients had no motor weakness prior to radiosurgery; 10 (22%) developed new Grade 3/5–4/5 weakness. Thirty (68%) of 44 patients with ≥ 3/5 pre-SRS weakness improved, 6 (14%) remained stable, and 8 (18%) worsened. Three of 5 patients with < 3/5 pre-SRS motor function improved. Motor deficits prior to SRS did not correlate with a worse outcome; however, worse outcomes were associated with larger tumor volumes. The median tumor volume in patients whose function improved or remained stable was 5.3 cm3, but it was 9.2 cm3 in patients who worsened (p < 0.05). Tumor volumes > 9 cm3 were associated with a higher risk of worsening motor function. Adverse radiation effects occurred in 5 patients.

Conclusions

Most intact patients with brain metastases in or adjacent to motor cortex maintained neurological function after SRS, and most patients with symptomatic motor weakness remained stable or improved. Larger tumor volumes were associated with less satisfactory outcomes.